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VR Days Europe’s Virtual Dioramas Exhibition Looks to Redefine Immersive Art

This week VR Days Europe has returned to Amsterdam, Holland for another three-day event featuring talks, investor pitches, hands-on demos and more. As part of the event, starting today and running for the next couple of weeks is the Virtual Dioramas exhibition as part of VR Church, and VRFocus went along to check out the exhibits.

Die-Fernweh-Oper
Die Fernweh Oper

VR Church is all about showcasing the best in interactive storytelling, with featured projects from around the world. Virtual Dioramas is an offshoot of this, and the first time the exhibition has been held. Located at the Eye Filmmuseum, these six exhibits are solely by Dutch artists, creating immersive scenes which blend new media with traditional techniques.

Die Fernweh Oper by Daniel Ernst and performed by Annina Giere is a piece filled with tragedy like every great opera. Split into three scenes, the first takes you into an opera hall to hear a 50ft singer called Asteria sing for you and your foolish love for her. She is made of starlight and just like any star you see at night what you glimpse is light that has long since faded. The opera then moves into Asteria’s abandoned dressing room before the final scene visiting the custodian who replaces the stars which have died.

As you’d expect, the piece is dramatic and wonderful to listen to, with the audio quality of HTC Vive Pro really shining through thanks to Giere’s voice.

The Exhibition
The Exhibition

Then there was Superfund Diorama by Lotje van Lieshout. She paints panoramic landscapes and the exhibition hand one on the wall. Nearby was a device most easily described as a sort of periscope on a monopod – called a Gyrotopioscope. With a handle each side of the box, you could then peer into Lieshout’s painting, a combination of oil painting and computer-generated animation. Offering an intriguing way to view artwork.

One of the standout pieces was The Exhibition by Jasper de Beijer, an experience putting you inside an ever-changing museum. An ethnographic museum show, the route that you choose dictates the content of the exhibition. After viewing one diorama and then moving to the next you can then turn around to see it swapped out for another and then another. This process continues, offering evermore elaborate scenes. The entire experience wouldn’t be out of place in somewhere like the Natural History Museum, offering a thoroughly engaging experience.

As mentioned, Virtual Dioramas is on for a few weeks if you want to check it out. For further VR Days Europe updates, keep reading VRFocus.